Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who is to blame for the sinking of the Lusitania?

On May 7, 1915, the RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by the German submarine U-20. The Lusitania sank in the short space of 18 minutes. This was an amazingly short space of time for a massive ocean liner to sink. What went wrong? This was a very well designed ship. In fact it had been designed to admiralty specifications.
It seems that the torpedo just hit the right spot and doomed the ship many called practically unsinkable. Yes that is what the ads for the Lusitania said. That she was practically unsinkable. It was not just the owners of the Titanic that said that, most ocean liner companies of the period said that. But that is getting away from my point here. Who is to blame for the sinking?

I would have to say both sides are equally at fault. Both are equally to blame. The German's had every right to sink her. She was carrying arms. She was even listed in Jane's fighting ships. The British were guilty of deceiving the world by saying that the Lusitania was not carrying arms. In many ways the British are more guilty than the Germans. If the German's had not stopped the ship, those bullets and shells would be fired at the Germans and killing many of them.

You see the German's had spies in New York Harbor and they saw what was going on. Information was passed. There were 4 Germans caught on the Lusitania and they were imprisoned in the brig below to be taken to England. However their deaths were assured when the vessel was torpedoed.The Lusitania 1907-1915
The Germans made a medal of the Lusitania sinking. It shows Cunard the British Shipping Company selling tickets to a ship they willing filled with arms. The person selling the tickets is death. It makes sense, it was criminal to do such a thing. But they told no one. The German Government put out ads telling people not to sail on the ships that would be going into a war zone. No one listened. Why should they? They were told that the Lusitania could outrun any submarine.
But what they didn't tell them was that many of the boilers of the ship were not lit to reduce the cost of sailing the ship. Therefore she could only go around 18 knots. Not that fast, for she was able when pushed to do 27 knots with all the boilers lit. That was fast, but in her condition as she was she was not the speed queen stated to her passengers. So she was a massive floating lie in many respects.

Once the ship was sunk the medal put out in limited quantities was reproduced by the British in massive quantities and the public was told that they had all been made by the Germans. In fact they were sold in England in great numbers. Over 250,000 were sold. This further demonized the Germans and their sinking of an unarmed vessel.
There are memorial cards further casting blame on Germany for the Lusitania disaster.

The British Government spent weeks over the wreck of the Lusitania in the 1950's. A great deal of mines were dropped onto the wreck to make it almost unrecognisable as the vessel it had once been. WHY?

There has been more recent investigations into the wreck and more bullets and shells have been found in the wreck. A great deal of arms were in this ship. Although they were not responsible for the sinking of the ship, they were contraband and illegal. Germany had every right to sink the vessel. England had no right allowing passengers on a ship that was loaded with arms for a war that played neutral. It was really a bad embarrassing moment for the USA and England.

For it was criminal to allow anyone on a vessel that was carrying arms....The victims of the Lusitania were pawns in a game of chance played by the allies.